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RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Index of Commodity Prices

October 2012

Release date: 1 November 2012

Preliminary estimates for October indicate that the index fell by 3.5 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after falling by 2.2 per cent in September (revised). The largest contributors to the fall in October were declines in the prices of coking coal, thermal coal and oil, which were partly offset by increases in the price of iron ore. The prices of base metals also declined. In Australian dollar terms, the index fell by 2.2 per cent in October.

Over the past year, the index has fallen by 16 per cent in SDR terms. Much of this fall has been due to declines in the prices of iron ore and coking coal. The index has fallen by 19.1 per cent in Australian dollar terms over the past year.

As indicated in previous releases, preliminary estimates for iron ore, coking coal and thermal coal export prices are being used for recent months, based on market information.

For further details regarding the construction of the index, please refer to ‘Updating the RBA's Index of Commodity Prices’ in the October 2009 issue of the Bulletin.